Spain’s former King Juan Carlos I is leaving the country, according to a letter addressed to his son King Felipe VI, which has been shared by the Royal Household.
Juan Carlos has recently faced growing national scrutiny over alleged financial dealings, and his letter cites “the public repercussion that certain past events of my private life are generating.”
King Felipe, Spain’s current head of state, who has worked to distance himself from his father, responded to the letter, according to the press release shared by the Royal Household, expressing “gratitude” for the decision to leave Spain. “His Majesty the King has transmitted to H.M. the King Don Juan Carlos his heartfelt respect and gratitude for his decision,” it read.
“The King wishes to emphasize the historical importance that his father’s reign represents, his legacy and his political and institutional work for Spain and democracy; and at the same time he wants to reaffirm the principles and values on which it (Spain’s democracy) is based, within the framework of our constitution and the rest of the legal system.”
Here’s what the letter by former King Juan Carlos I said:
“Your Majesty, dear Felipe:
With the same desire to serve Spain that inspired my reign and in the face of the public repercussion that certain past events of my private life are generating, I wish to express to you my utmost availability to contribute the facilitation of the execution of your functions, from the tranquility that requires your position of high responsibility. My legacy, and my own dignity as a person, demand it.
A year ago, I expressed my will and desire to stop performing institutional activities. Now, guided by the conviction to perform the best service to the Spanish people, their institutions and you as King, I am communicating my thoughtful decision to move, at this time, outside of Spain.
A decision I make with sadness, but with great serenity. I have been King of Spain for almost forty years and, during all of them, I have always wanted the best for Spain and for the Crown.
Always with love and affection, your father.”